Welcome to a new week and another TW Weekly, complete with the latest festival previews from TW:Edinburgh, more Fringe tips from TW:DIY, and show recommendations for the cultural week ahead from TW:London.

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If you're a fan of 'Gulliver's Travels', you might be intrigued by the sound of the latest show from Festival regulars Dawn State, as although it's not strictly based on the Swift classic, it incorporates some of its themes and ideas.

That said, I don't think you need to like or even have read the novel to appreciate this great sounding play. I certainly wanted to know more about the show as soon as I heard about it and so arranged a chat with Dan Coleman, director of the piece and AD of the company. Read the interview here.

'Gulliver Returns' is on at Edinburgh Festival 2018 at Underbelly from 2-26 Aug.
TW:DIY is a new educational programme from the TW team that will be offering tips and advice to future talent in theatre, comedy and culture at large. To kick things off we're talking to people who work at the Edinburgh Festival each year to get their perspectives and top tips.

This week Giles Moss, one of three production managers at theSpaceUK, who - of course - run many venues at the Fringe in different buildings all around central Edinburgh. We spoke to Giles about the process of designing and constructing a Fringe venue, and also got lots of logistical tips for companies performing at the Festival for the first time. Read the interview here.
'Flesh and Bone' is a show I heard about up at the Edinburgh Festival in 2017, and if you were there I am pretty sure you will have heard of it too, given all the buzz it generated, the great reviews it received, and the awards it won.

As you can imagine, it's been an exciting year for this production, and I was really pleased to see it headed for a run at Soho Theatre. I spoke to writer and performer Elliot Warren, to find out more. Read the interview here.

'Flesh and Bone' is on at Soho Theatre from 3-21 Jul, see the venue website here for more information and to book.

TUESDAY 26 JUNE 2018 >>

Even The Stones | Jacksons Lane | 26-28 Jun
"Even the stones placed in your path can be made into something beautiful" says Goethe. This is a show about confronting and transforming the obstacles we find in our way, performed by the 14 graduating students of the National Centre for Circus Arts, directed by Charlotte Mooney and Tina koch from the utterly brilliant Ockham's Razor. Expect "strength, skill, risk and vulnerability alongside seven men, seven women and 700kg of stones" and get your tickets booked right about here.

The Start Of Something | Theatre503 | 26-30 Jun
"When Amy finds a letter, lost and forgotten under her floorboards, she becomes obsessed with finding the unknown recipient. But in doing so, she sets in motion a chain of events which resurfaces a long forgotten secret. As three women tell their stories, we begin to realise none of their lives will ever be the same again". This play from award-winning playwright Jamie Lakritz promises to be moving and funny, see this page here for more.

Britney | Battersea Arts Centre | 26-27 Jun (pictured)
We first heard about this comedy duo when they appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe with their debut sketch show back in 2016, and won oodles of critical praise and word-of-mouth buzz. This is, I believe (correct me if I am wrong) a re-run of that acclaimed first hour, and if you didn't manage to catch it previously, then hurrah, here's your chance. Lovely, see the venue website here for details.


Jellyfish | The Bush Theatre | 27 Jun-21 Jul (pictured)
"'I know what people say. How they treat us. But that's their problem. No one else should give a fuck'. Kelly likes dirty jokes and finding creatures washed up on the shore. Neil likes Kelly, who makes him dizzy and breathless. But Agnes, Kelly's mum, struggles to accept their new relationship". A seaside town based tale about coming of age with Downs Syndrome that poses some important questions, and stars Sarah Gordy, who you may well have seen on the telly. See this page here for more.

Suitman Jungle | Roundhouse | 27 Jun
Yes, yes, yes, we're heading back Roundhousewards for another pick from The Last Word Festival, this excellent sounding show from percussionist Mark Pell that combines live drum 'n' bass, jungle beats and spoken word, and is about the day to day grind in a moody, chaotic city. See this page here for details. Oh, and if you really fancy seeing this but can't make it, it's also on at The Albany tomorrow.

Nocturne | The Albany | 27-29 Jun
And speaking of The Albany, here's another show on at The Albany, and one that's part of another festival, Lift 2018. "Starting at dusk and ending at dawn, Nocturne is a journey into the wild side of the city and the creatures that reside there. As the sun sets and darkness forms audiences are invited to disappear into the underworld, slipping through the concrete and electricity, streetlights and supermarkets in search of something other. Within the shadows and undergrowth we are drawn a stranger and less familiar place where perspectives shift on our urban landscape". Head this way for info.

THURSDAY 28 JUNE 2018 >>

For King And Country | Southwark Playhouse | 28 Jun-21 Jul
"1918. The Western Front. Private Hamp, a young working-class soldier from the North of England, has been in the frontline of a bloody battlefield for three years. One day he decides to walk away..." John Wilson's 1964 play, originally called 'Hamp', I believe, but which was adapted along with another text to become the screenplay for the film 'King and Country' starring Dirk Bogarde. It's a tense courtroom drama depicting the trial of a shell-shocked soldier at risk of meeting a firing squad. See this page here for more.

The Tempest | The Actors' Church | 20 Jun-28 Jul
You possibly already know about this open air production because we ran a Q&A with its director last week, but just in case you missed that, here's another prompt to consider taking in a fab staging of The Bard's final play set in the grounds of the Actors' Church in Covent Garden. "A storm at sea - a ship is broken by the waves, and a king and his court are washed up on the shore of a mysterious island. The desolate isle appears uninhabited but, unseen in the shadows, a powerful magician plots his revenge". Our interview is here, get your tickets booked here.

A Clown Show About Rain | New Diorama Theatre | 28 Jun (pictured)
Another choice from New Diorama's Incoming Festival, which is full to bursting with loads of great looking shows. Here, Silent Faces take a look at the unpredictable nature of mental health: "Forth, Cromarty and Dogger are all at sea; the storm strikes, the rain lashes down, strong winds have turned their umbrellas inside out. They're trying to keep warm and dry, but their raincoats have shrunk in the wash. In a world where we're expected to be equipped for everything, what happens when our mental resilience falls short?" All the details are here.

FRIDAY 29 JUNE 2018 >>

What Words Are Ours? | Roundhouse | 29 Jun (pictured)
Yes, more Last Word Festival for you, and it's a goodie: "A tongue-twisting, thigh-slapping, tear-jerking variety show that will make you think and feel" starring activist Chloë Florence, playwright and slam champion Kat François, rising star Koko Brown, David Cumming aka Cheryl Dole, Zia Ahmed, who will be creating poetry on the night using words gathered from the audience, and BSL-using poet Zoë McWhinney. See this page here for more.

Tessa Coates - Primates | Soho Theatre | 26-30 Jun
"Tessa has an absolutely useless degree in Anthropology and some very big questions about how we got here". She's also one third of rather successful sketch troupe Massive Dad and has lots of live and TV appearances under her belt. This is her debut solo show, which did very well at the old edfringe. See this page here for all the info.

Breakfast | New Diorama | 29 Jun
More from Incoming now, and this intriguing show: "A story about love. A man and a woman sit down to breakfast in late-1940s Paris. Comedic and touching, 'Breakfast' is inspired by the poetry of Jacques Prévert and the silent films of Buster Keaton. This is a nostalgic story about courtship and loss, told without a single word, scored live by piano and accordion". Sounds delicious, details here.

SATURDAY 30 JUNE 2018 >>

Robin Ince - Pragmatic Insanity | Soho Theatre | 26-30 Jun
The brilliant and awarding winning Robin Ince, back with his first new solo show for three years, and this is your last chance to see him (well, during this particular run at Soho, he'll probably be doing it elsewhere, I expect). "A night about love, death and art (with a little bit of physics). It is 90 minutes fizzing with ideas about creativity in science and art, as well as asking why we believe we see what we see and why we believe what we believe". See this page here for more.

Mixtape | Roundhouse | 30 Jun (pictured)
More from Last Word now and this sounds so good. "With enduring friendship at its centre, hear poems which leap back and forth in time, giving voice to the universal struggle to carve out personal and political identities. Poems about music, poems about love, poems of protest and of exile, monologues and duet poems... all tied together through an unforgettable soundtrack of songs, from Afrobeats to hip-hop, from reggae to soul". All the details are here.

The Coolidge Effect | New Diorama | 30 Jun
This had a one off showing at New Diorama back in November, and we tipped it then, but I wanted to mention it again now it's on as part of Incoming because it's about an issue that I am a bit bothered about - the effect that the increasing prevalence and consumption of porn is having on people's lives. "In 2018, pornography is all around us and the amount we watch it is growing at an exponential rate: in the UK alone, 10 million porn videos are watched every day. As society's access to pornography increases, so does our unwillingness to talk about it. The Coolidge Effect seeks to break this taboo". See this page here for info.

SUNDAY 1 JULY 2018 >>

Things We Chose To Save | New Diorama | 1 Jul
"In ten years' time, we discover a way to record, store and replay memories at will. Editing memories becomes a booming business, and Molly is one of its leading lights. She watches thousands of other people's memories every day. Billie, on the other hand, has no idea what she's getting into when she decides to sell a memory of her own". Another great sounding show from Incoming at New Diorama, this one an exploration of memory that promises to be both thoughtful and funny. All the info right about here.

This Is Not For You | Artillery Square | 30 Jun-1 Jul
The excellent Graeae Theatre Company - who you're probably aware are a  D/deaf and disabled artist inclusive group - present this epic outdoor production which pays moving tribute to Britain's wounded war veterans and their fight for respect and remembrance. Expect a poignant story depicted with wry humour which features audio description and sign language as integral elements. On as part of the Greenwich and Docklands Festival, see this page here for info.

Mabel & Mickey | Roundhouse | 1 Jul (pictured)
And speaking of festivals (and yes, we are, a lot) here's yet another choice from the fine Last Word line up, a debut solo show by Kit Finnie described as a ghost story for a new generation: "Kit has written a show about Mabel Normand, one of the most notorious movie stars of early Hollywood, and the real cold murder case that threatened to swallow her legacy. But there are pigeons cooing in the walls of the theatre, and she keeps getting calls about a strange woman in her flat". Details here.

MONDAY 2 JULY 2018 >>

Magical Bones - Black Magic | Underbelly Festival | 2 Jul
Thought we'd have a trip over to Underbelly Festival because it's been a while. And what a great show to make the effort for: Magical Bones returns to the Southbank with a brand new show that threatens to go "far and beyond the normal expectations of a traditional magic show and culminates in a spectacular finale that truly questions the limits of what is humanly possible". Expect breakdance moves, back flipping card tricks and street magic, head this way for all the info.

Spun | Arcola Theatre | 27 Jun-28 Jul (pictured)
"Safa and Aisha have been best friends for years. They used to bunk off school, revise for exams together and even went to the same university. But now they're forging different paths for the first time: Safa to work in the City, and Aisha to teach in Newham. When London is attacked one day in July, Safa and Aisha feel the whole world spinning. As extremes from all sides take hold of the city, can their friendship survive the upheaval?" Fab sounding debut play from Rabiah Hussain, see this page here for more.

US Independence Meltdown Show | 2Northdown | 2 Jul
Hurrah, it's Independence Day! Well, okay, it's not, but today at 2Northdown they're holding an early celebration of the big day with a meeting of a host of US comedians who will come together to roast their home country. "A hilarious take-down of the US from the people who know it best". runs the blurb, and those people are the likes of David Mills, Spring Day, Russell Hicks, Tim Renkow. Details right about here.
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